Philip Weigley

Philip Weigley (aka Philip Wagerline aka Philip Wegerline aka Philipp Waegerlein) is my 5th great grandfather.

He is not to be confused with Georg Philipp Waegerlein from Germany who is married to Anna Katharina who had a daughter named Anna Katharine Waegerlein – Hoeppel (born in 1818).  Georg Philipp Waegerlein is a different person.

What makes tracing the material family tree so complicated is the very fact that the Wegley name has so many variations. It also doesn’t help that when you go so far back in time, you don’t have as many records. But what complicates matters, even more, are when two people who have similar names happen to live in the same area.

Most sources list his birthday as September 15, 1731, and his death on September 15, 1831. That would mean that he died on his 100th birthday. The problem with that is that other documents don’t support this data.

What we can say for sure about Philip Weigley is that his gravestone which is in the Berlin Reformed cemetery aka the Weigley cemetery says he died on September 18, 1831, in the 92 years of his life. It also says “In memory of Philip Weigley, who departed this life. ”

Other records of the time state he was the “First permanent settler in Berlin Region and was formerly spelled Wegerline.”

So now we can say for sure one fact about Philip, we died on September 18, 1831, and he was 92 when he died. That means that he was probably born in 1739 and not as other records show, September 15, 1731.  

Philip Wagerline -Weigley

Next we have an interesting document from the website  It tells us that he was one of the earliest settlers in the Brothersvalley area of Pennsylvania. The story goes on to say that he had a small farm which he grew Rye on.

Brothersvalley Settled 1769 (30 at this time)
brothersvalley Incorporated 1771

On October 5, 1784 he was issued a land grand in Bedford, Pennsylvania. There are at least two different government documents that back this up. This would have made him about 45 at the time. Google maps shows us that Bedford and Brothersvalley Township are about 40 miles apart.

1831 – wrote will

Old Mr. Philip Weigley must have been among the earliest settlers, perhaps the next after Rhoads. He came to Brothersvalley, built a house, cleared five or six acres of land and sowed it in Rye. The next winter the snow was five to seven feet deep and lay without a thaw for nearly four months. Without a thaw for nearly four months be intolerable and that he would take for his land what he could get, so that he might get off as soon as possible in the spring. He had paid $50.00 for it, and he thought if he could get that much he would be a fortunate man. Soon after spring opened, three persons came along exploring the country for a place to locate themselves, and seeing his field of rye, which was a remarkable promising crop, they asked him what he would take for his place. He was afraid to put his price of $50.00 upon it lest it might frighten them, and he therefore told them to make him an offer. They offered him $150.00 and it astonished him so much that he broke the negotiation short off and told them he would not sell.

Now it is true, he could have moved from Bedford to Brothersvalley, since it’s not really that far away. But we know for a fact he lived in Bedford until 1790, which we can verify through the 1790 US Federal Census. His first listing in Brothersvalley was in 1800, which means he would have been almost 70 years old at that time.
He went his entire life until he was 70 years old using the name Philip Wagerline. Why would he suddenly change it to Philip Weigley? That part I don’t understand. And another thing …. why did he move when he was 70 years old to start up a new farm?
However to note, Brothersvalley is in Bedford county. So is it possible he didn’t in fact live in Bedford the town in the 1790 census but instead Bedford county in the yet to be named area that one would day be Brothersvalley?


WILLS: Philip WAGERLINE, 1830, Brothersvalley Twp., Somerset County, PA
File contributed for use in USGenWeb Archives by:
Margiee Wegley April 13, 2007, 11:02 pmCopyright 2008.  All rights reserved.
Philip FrederickJohn son in law Peter Glessneralso paying unto my daughter Susana Markly two hundred dollars four years aftermy son-in- law Joseph Markly,Source: Transcribed From Sampubco Copy By Margiee Wegley, Somerset County, PaWritten: October 23, 1830
Recorded: October 1, 1831Transcribed from SAMPUBCO copy by Margiee Wegley, Somerset County, PA
Brothers Valley, Will Book Vol. 3-1  Surnames: Wagerline, Moyer, Glessner, Hay,
Markley, Davidson, Good, MusserWill of Philip Wagerline, DeceasedIn the name of God Amen.  I Philip Wagerline the Eldest of Brothers Valley Township, in the County of Somerset, and State of Pennsylvania Yeoman being in health of body and of sound disposing mind memory and understanding blessed be God for the same.  Do make and publish this my last Will and Testament in manor and form following to wit:First it is my Will and I do order and direct that all my just debts and funeral expenses be duly paid and satisfied as soon as conveniently can be after my decease.  Items I give and devise unto my son Philip Wagerline his heirs and assigns forever.  All that certain plantation and tract of land whereon he now lives according to the boundaries as laid off by actual surve y including the piece of meadow originally laid off to my son Frederick Wagerline as the same is fenced off for which said piece of meadow the said Philip Wagerline is to lay off to the tract of land sold by the said Frederick Wagerline unto my son John Wagerline the same quantity of land at the upper end of the place next to the town of Berlin so as to be of the least injury to the said Philip Wagerline’s plantation the said tract containing about two hundred and twenty acres be the same more or less situate in Brothers Valley Township aforesaid and bounded by lands of Michael Moyer, John Wagerline and others together with the appurtenances.  He or the paying there out unto my son John Wagerline and heirs or representatives six hundred dollars thirty days after my decease: and also paying to my son in law Peter Glessner or his heirs seven hundred dollars, three hundred dollars one year after my decease and two hundred dollars per annum until the said seven hundred dollars are paid.  And also paying unto my daughter Susana Markly two hundred dollars four years after my decease.Items I give and devise unto my son John Wagerline all that certain plantation and tract of land whereon he now lives as laid off containing about one hundred and sixteen acres together with the appurtenances adjoining lands of Michael Moyer, Peter Hay, Philip Wagerline and others to have and to hold the same to him his heirs and assigns forever and also my eight day clock.  Items I give and devise unto my son Frederick Wagerline and to his heirs and assigns the proceeds in full which arose from the sale of a tract of land that he sold unto my aforesaid son John Wagerline and which proceeds he hath heretofore received.  Items I give unto the heirs of my son-in-law Joseph Markly, deceased, the proceeds in full which arose from the sale of a tract of land warranted in the name of Samuel Davidson containing four hundred and eighty nine acres and which proceeds the said deceased hath heretofore received.  And Item it is my will and I do order and direct that my son John Wagerline shall within thirty days after my decease deliver up to my Executor hereinafter named all my personal estate that may be within his possession or knowledge of nature or kind so ever it may be or that I am in anywise entitled to and it is my will that the said herein after named Executor make sale as soon as convenient  of such property as may be delivered unto him by my said son John Wagerline and that the proceeds thereof be divided equally between my son-in-law Peter Glessner and my daughter Susan Markly and lastly I nominate constitute and appoint my trusty friend Jacob Good of Brothers Valley Township Executor of this my Last Will and Testament hereby revoking all other wills, legacies and bequests by me heretofore made and declaring this and no other to be my last will and testament.  In witness whereof I have hereto set my hand and seal this twenty third day of October in the year of Our Lord one thousand eight hundred and thirty. 1830.Philip (his mark) Wagerline {seal}Signed sealed and delivered published pronounced and declaring by the Testator to be his Last Will and Testament in the presence of us who at his request and in his presence have hereunto subscribed our manes as witnesses.Tobias Musser
Peter MusserRegistered 1st October 1831, C. Forward, Register

Somerset County SS:

This first day of October 1831 before me Chauncey Forward, Register for the probate of Wills and Granting Letters of Administration in and for said County personally came Tobias Musser and Peter Musser the subscribers witnesses to the foregoing will and being affirmed according to law did depose and say that they were present and saw and heard Philip Wagerline the Testator sign seal publish pronounce and declare the foregoing instrument of writing as and for his testament and last will and that at the time  of so doing he was of perfect and sound mind memory and understanding to the best of their knowledge observation and belief.

Affirmed and subscribed before
me           }                                          Tobias Musser
Sam Glessner for C. Forward,
Register      }                                          Peter Musser

Letters Testamentary Estate of Philip Wagerline

Somerset County, ss:

By the tenor of these presents, I Chauncey Forward, Register for the probate of wills and granting letters of administration in and for the County of Somerset in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, do make known unto all men, that on the day of the date thereof at Somerset before me, was proved, approved and insinuated the last will and testament of Philip Wagerline late of said County deceased: (a true copy whereof is to these presents annexed) having whilst he lived and at the time of his death, divers goods, chattels, rights and credits within the said Commonwealth.  By reason whereof the approbation and insinuation of the said Last Will and Testament, and the committing the Administration of all and singular the goods and chattels, rights and credits, which were of the said deceased, and also the auditing the accounts, calculations and reckonings of the said Administration and a final dismission from the same, to me are manifestly known to belong; and that the Administration of all and singular the goods and chattels, rights and credits, which were of said the deceased any way concerning his last will and Testament was Committed to Jacob Good, Executor in the said last will and testament named Jacob Good having been first affirmed according to law well and truly to Administer the goods and chattels of the said deceased; and make a true and perfect inventory thereof and exhibit the same into the Registers Office at Somerset, on or before the 1st day of November next, and to render a just and true account, calculation and reckoning of the said Administration on or before the first day of October next ensuing.  In Testimony whereof I have hereunto set my hand and the seal of the said County of Somerset, this first day of October in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and thirty one.

C. Forward, Register

Registered 1st day of October 1831


PHILIP WAGERLINE — 155 ½ acres called “Pyramid” located on Buffelow (Buffalo) Lick Creek in Brothers’ Valley Twp., Bedford County, adjoining lands of Philip WAGERLINE, Jr., Tilman SHITZ, Peter GRAFF, Jacob FISHER, Francis HAY, and William MILLER. Surveyed 04 Dec 1784, pursuant to a warrant dated 05 Oct 1784, for 147 acres.

(Source: Land Warrants of Somerset County, Survey Book I, Somerset Co., Pa. [being part of Bedford County until 1795], page 163.)


Philip married Anna Dorothea Fronica Krafft (1746-1792) on April 20, 1767. Together they had at least six children.

        • Susanna Eva (1769-1841) Died when she was 72
        • Frederick (1773-1836) Died when he was 63
        • Catharine (1774-1834) Died when she was 60
        • Philip (1775-October 26, 1836) Died when he was 61
        • Joseph (1779- 1836) Died when he was 56
        • John (1781-March 11, 1836) Died when he was 54

1836 was a rough year for the Wegley family, notice that Philip lost 4 of his 6 children that year. Of course he died 5 years prior to that so he wouldn’t have actually known his children died, but that’s not really the point. 😛

What I wonder is, how did they all die that year? What possibly could have been going on at that time in history to have caused so many deaths? The only war I could find was the Second Seminole War but that took place in Florida.

His parents were most likely Paul Wegerline and Ottilia. In all he had six siblings (not 100% verified – but current research shows these might be accurate).

Katharine Wegerlin (1727-1800)

Ottilia Wegerline (1729-?)

Anna Clara Wegerline (1731-1784)

Johan Jacob Wegerlin (1731-?)

Johan Simon Wegerle (1736-?)

Adam Weigley (1744-1798)

      • I should note that it was this generation that still sometimes used the last name Wageli (or Wägeli), specifically Johan Simon.